The Green Room
(2006) No infringement upon the rightful owners of "Combat!" and the characters thereof, is intended. Any resemblance between real people and the characters in this story is purely coincidental and no insult is intended. This piece of fan fiction is for enjoyment only, and in no way will the author gain monetary profit from its existence.
by Thompson Girl
Caje was just heading towards the front door of the empty Green Room, when he heard something moving in the kitchen. Frowning, he went to investigate. A civilian stranger was stealing food from the icebox. No, he corrected himself, recognizing the short stocky blond, not a stranger at all. "Brockmeyer!" Caje said sharply.
Brockmeyer whirled, his arms full of food.
"Boy, have you caused a lot of trouble. We've been looking all over...." Caje broke off, eyeing the worn jeans, t-shirt, and work boots Brockmeyer was wearing. "And what are you doing out of uniform? The sarge is going to blow his stack, you know that, don't you?"
Brockmeyer relaxed a little, looked over the food he'd gathered again. "That's okay, Hanley'll straighten it out."
"The lieutenant? What do you mean?"
"Well, I got a side job."
"A side job. In a novel. Only DocB is writing me into her story right now, so I figured I had some extra time."
"What is this, a Combat! novel?"
"No, no. This is something else."
"I see." Caje shook his head. "The sarge'll never go for that."
"Well, like I said, he'll just have to talk to the lieutenant. He can't get mad at me if Hanley's doing it too."
Brockmeyer grinned. "Although I think Hanley regrets signing on. Right now, his novel character is locked in a jail cell waiting to be hung for claim jumping." At Caje's odd look, Brockmeyer added, "Yeah, the novel's set partly in the Old West."
"Ah!" Caje nodded knowingly. "So that's why the lieutenant's got that cavalry uniform."
"No, that was just for fun. Didn't have anything to do with this."
"So what are you doing back here, if you're keeping so busy?" Caje asked and looked pointedly at the armful of food.
Brockmeyer grimaced sheepishly. "Got hungry. That Thompson Girl doesn't eat enough. There's never enough food in her icebox."
Caje shook his head, then sighed. "Well, look, you'd better get out of here. I'll pretend I didn't see you, but I can't guarantee any of the other guys aren't around. You get seen and you'll be back in the stockade yourself."
"Thanks, Caje. You're a pal."
"But I still say you're asking for it. Sarge is bound to find out about this one way or the other. You just can't set a precedent like this, jumping into another genre. It's not like this is a crossover story you're doing. He might cut you some slack for that. This is something original. What if the whole squad starts doing it? What if we're needed for a fanfic writer's story and, all of a sudden, none of us are around? You know what'll happen then?"
"We won't get shot at, eat lousy food and drink cold coffee--" Brockmeyer shuddered, "--sleep in the rain, or flush out any more villages. Sounds like a bargain to me."
"That's because you're a very minor character, despite what Thompson Girl thinks of you. The rest of us have our reputations to think of. We don't belong in some random novel."
Brockmeyer smirked, then added casually, "I get the girl."
"I get the girl. In the novel."
Caje's smile disappeared.
"Two of them actually," Brockmeyer went on. "This pretty blonde and this saloon singer--"
Quick as a cat, Caje's leg shot out and he swept Brockmeyer's feet out from under him. Brockmeyer hit the ground hard, the sandwiches and food spilling on the floor around him. Before he could move, he found Caje's rifle aimed at him.
"Yo, Sarge!" Caje shouted. "I found Brockmeyer!" Caje smiled cheerfully down at Brockmeyer. "You oughta learn when to keep quiet."
Brockmeyer just smiled back. "You oughta learn not to mess with the writers."
Caje frowned, gaze darting left and right suspiciously.
"You think Thompson Girl's gonna let me get locked up again this month of all months? When she's still got thirty-five thousand words to write before December first? Think again, Caje! 'Bye!"
A trapdoor appeared in the kitchen floor beside him. With a parting grin, Brockmeyer yanked it open, dropped inside. The door fell shut again with a thud and, a second later, there was only faded linoleum where the door had been.
Caje grimaced, then shook his head and exhaled wearily. The food was still all over the floor. He knew who was going to have to clean it up too. He leaned his rifle against the counter and, as he picked things up, he started thinking of what he would tell Saunders when the sarge showed up.